“Oh my gosh, Son, you’re graduating the sixth grade! You’ll be starting junior high in a matter of a couple of short months ... how exciting!”
With an eyeball roll and a deep sigh, The Kid looked me squarely in the eye and said, “Stop trying to make it sound good, Mom. School is not an exciting thing.”
“Just think of all the fun things you’ll learn next year — you will love seventh grade!”
There was no way in Jiminy Christmas I was going to reveal how much I had loathed it, but I was trying to find some way to encourage him to look forward to his next term.
“Mom. I took Spanish this year. Here is what I learned in Spanish class: Hola. That’s it. I don’t even know how to say ‘toilet paper’ in Spanish, so what good is it going to do me. The Mexican kids in school don’t even want to speak Spanish.”
I nodded. I get it. I mean, I can say a few words in Espanol, but they are scattered and far between: chicchiarones, tostaguac, chile rellenos, chiliquiles, pollo con queso — see what I mean? Menu items. I know them well.
The Spanish class was so popular that it folded after three months and become the physical education class. That was even less popular.
“Well, what about your art class? Didn’t you enjoy your art class?”
“Mom. The art teacher was a moron. We never got to paint, we never got to color, we never got to draw.”
“Well what the heck did you do then?”
“She made us cut out stuff from construction paper and make 3-D models. Do you have any idea how boring that is?”
Yes. I do have some idea of how boring that might be. That’s why I keep a big selection of Crayolas on hand, as well as a jumbo coloring book from the dollar store. When The Kid gets wigged out, I calm him down with a coloring session. Works like a charm.
“How about your music class? I thought it was great that you were getting the opportunity to play the clarinet! I love the clarinet!”
“Mom. Have you even heard me play the clarinet? I can’t play it because the music teacher would not teach us the chords or how to place our fingers. She just expected us to read music. I hated that class.”
Hmm. That would explain the reason for the clerk at the music store exclaiming what great condition the clarinet was in after almost a year of being used at an elementary school.
“That’s because he still doesn’t know how to play it,” I remarked.
I was just glad I didn’t get charged anything extra for dings, scratches or gouges. Oh no, honey. That clarinet was in mint condish.
“OK, so those things weren’t so great, but you liked your teachers, right?” I pressed on.
Another deep sigh and eyeballs rolled toward the ceiling.
“I liked my math teacher but I hate math. I hated my language arts teacher but I would have liked language arts if it weren’t for her.”
“What about science?”
“Science? What science? We didn’t have science.”
“History? I know I saw history homework in there somewhere.”
“No, Mom. Just ancient history. The Egyptians and that’s about it. We did that work in class. I liked that a lot but we didn’t get enough of it.”
“Do you remember the stuff we learned two summers ago? When I was teaching you the states and the capitals? Or the Presidents?”
He shrugged. He used to be able to rattle them off, but he did ask me one day if Denmark was near Montana.
“Only if you’re Sarah Palin. Have you no idea where the countries of the world are?”
“No, and why would I care?”
“Son, what do you care about?”
“Well, I care that ‘Modern Warfare 3’ is coming out in November, I care about ‘Mine Craft’ because it’s an awesome game, and I care about ‘River Monsters’ because it’s fun to watch before I fall asleep. I also care about having a box of Lucky Charms in the cabinet and I care about having a pillow in the car.”
Simple Simon met a pie man going to the fair....
“And have you got any idea what you would like to do or be when you graduate from college, should we still have colleges, in 10 years?”
“I dunno. Probably a video game designer.”
Ah! Ambition! The boy has a goal and has ambition!
“Wouldn’t you like to be the President some day? I mean, it’s a decent job and you only have to do it for four years...you get to travel and eat whatever you want.”
He thought about it for a minute and asked, “What about traveling on Air Force One? What would I do while I’m flying on Air Force One?”
“What would you like to do while flying on Air Force One?”
It’s what they do when they get wigged out.
Works like a charm. That’s why they’re always smilin’ when they come off that plane.
Happy they made another flight without coloring outside the lines.
The boy’s a President in the making, what can I say.…